The Slaying of Cerberus, Guardian of Hades
JJ: The next labor is Capricorn, that is Artie’s sign. The slaying of Cerberus, Guardian of Hades. (Hell) In this labor he is told again that he needs to go and rescue Prometheus. He is in two of these labors and I don’t know why but I guess just for symbology sake. In this labor Prometheus is in hell and Hercules must descend to hell and rescue him. Prometheus is sent to hell because he went against the grain of the gods for he was not supposed give fire to man which he did against their will. Now some stories say that he just gave them normal fire so that man could progress and light fires and cook food and give him warmth and other stories say that he gave them the fire of the spirit from the gods, the fire that makes them gods.
Whatever he gave them angered them and they chained him up this time in the pit of hell and again he has vultures picking at his liver and his body. So he is in terrible shape and Hercules has to descend to hell and save him. So he begins to descend to hell and he has to cross a river named Styx, a river that the souls of the deceased must cross. It is guarded, interestingly enough, by a person named Charon (sounds like Sharón)
Charon is a ferryman that can take the souls over to the other side of the river. He ferries Hercules over and he was supposed to charge him a penny but he forgot because Hercules was so strong and powerful that he didn’t think about it. In hell he meets Medusa and tries to overcome her and was not quite able to slay her. It does not say anything about turning people into stone like the ancient stories indicate. Then he goes through a Labyrinth and he meets the king of the underworld.
The king of the underworld says, you can free Prometheus if you can kill a three-headed dog with your bare hands. Now many people have tried to do this and no one has been able to hurt this dog and if you can kill this big beast with your bare hands than I will let you free Prometheus. So Hercules continues on his journey and he comes the place where Prometheus is and the three-headed dog guards him. He attacks the dog and he centers in on his main head. The three heads symbolize, sensation, desire and good intentions, so he grabs him at the most important head, which head would that be?
JJ: Correct, desire, and desire is the one that is the most important to overcome. So he grabs him at the central head, which is desire, and he chokes the dog to death. He then proceeds and frees Prometheus, unleashing him, he re-traces his steps and takes him out of the underworld and up to the surface.
Audience: So he only had to kill one head and the others would die?
JJ: Yes, the desire is the main head. Prometheus, as we said, symbolizes God and man, and he is chained to a rock in the depths below which means he is chained to the densest matter and that makes it really hard to see the God in us and remember it is important that to love our brother. We must look into his eyes and see his soul and if we can look into our brother’s eyes and see his soul, then we can see the God within. But many of us only see the outer personality. We only see Prometheus chained and not free and just a normal person and suffering from the things that we suffer from in life. Instead of seeing the suffering we should look and see the perfection of the God within and this is what we have to do with Prometheus. That is the only way we can free the Prometheus within us is to see the true God that is there.
Because God does not appear to be there it appears that he is chained and powerless for that he has been there for ages and ages and ages. It appears we are sinners to be punished by God and we are born in sin and God is frowning upon us and we are chained and suffering and there is nothing we can do about it. Prometheus is an extension of Hercules (Us) and he frees Prometheus hence freeing himself by seeing what he truly is and seeing that the God within and the God without are the same.
Audience: I am lost on that one; I thought you said that he strangled desire?
JJ: He did.
Audience: Well how does that find the God within?
JJ: I will cover this in a little more detail. The lower passions hide the God within. The symbolism of the rock tells us he was trapped in the densest matter. The lower passions, desires, sensations, and good intentions, sensation is very closely related to desire and it increases desire and good intentions are our desire to do good. You have heard the statement that, “The way to hell is paved with good intentions.” This is often the case; it is people with good intentions who often create a lot more harm than good.
Every bureaucracy that we have in this country is created with good intentions. Politicians say we are going to create this bureaucracy that is going to do a lot of good. We create the bureaucracy that costs us billions and billions of dollars and ten years later nothing is improved and it is the same as it was before so all the good intentions did was cost money, raise our taxes and produced nothing what so ever and often times does harm. You look at almost every bureaucracy that has been created and it is the same thing, it was created with good intentions but it does more harm than good.
Many things that we do in our personal life does more harm than good. I was talking to a man a while back and he said that he believed in harmlessness and he would not own or shoot a gun no matter what the case. I said really, lets suppose that you are in this bank and a bank robber comes in with a bomb strapped on him and he begins to rob the bank and says unless everybody cooperates he will press a button and blow everybody all up. The police arrive and they are all trapped inside and now he can’t get out and becomes desperate. In the process he winds up shooting the guard and the guard falls close to this guy who does not believe in shooting anybody and this gun slips out of his holster near his foot. Now here is the guy with the bomb and he tells the police that if they do not do exactly what he says that he is going to blow everybody up. The police are not cooperating and the guy says in ten seconds I am going to blow everybody up. He begins to count ten, nine, eight…
Now you can save the situation by grabbing the gun and shooting the guy, do you shoot the guy and take one life or do you let the guy detonate the bomb and take a hundred lives in the bank? Which one do you do?
He says, well I would not shoot him. I said well then the blood of one hundred people will be on your hands. He said, no it wouldn’t. And I said, yes it would because if you have the possibility of stopping this guy and don’t then you have the responsibility for a hundred lives. So, in that situation would you still not shoot him? He said no. Well the guy has good intentions but those good intentions are going to cost one hundred lives because that guy is now going to detonate the bomb. The guy has the power to stop him but he will not so his good intentions will cost the lives of one hundred people who have husbands, wives, children, girlfriends, boyfriends, friends and who will also be affected by this one man with good intentions that had a chance to stop this and he did not.
This is often the case, we have good intentions and we do what feels good and what sounds good but in the end it creates a lot more destruction than if we took the hard path and actually did the common sense thing that would produce the most good.
Audience: So the good intentions hide the God within?
JJ: Yes, good intentions often create more harm than good and we have to see through the good intentions and see if they are really going to do anything good. The second thing we have to do with good intentions is when our good intentions are actually good and not bad then we have to see them through. If we see through our good intentions and they make sense and fulfill them and if we conquer sensation so sensation does not control us and if we overcome desire so desire becomes a servant then that opens the door for the God within shine forth.
There are a lot of things we can do to show the God within but the most important thing overall is to look, if we do not look we will not see but we can’t really look until we have successfully overcome wrong desire and wrong thought and wrong attachment to sensation.
Copyright by J J Dewey
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